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Articles Home » 2006 Articles » Cloudscape - 2006 Crimson Skies
Cloudscape - 2006 Crimson Skies

ARTIST: Cloudscape
ALBUM: Crimson Skies
LABEL: Metal Heaven
YEAR: 2006


LINEUP: Micael Andersson - vocals * Bjorn Eliasson - guitars * Patrik Svard - guitars * Hans Persson - bass, vocals * Roger Landin - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Shapeshifter * 02 Shadowland * 03 And Then The Rain * 04 Take The Blame * 05 The Last Breath * 06 Psychic Imbalance * 07 Hope * 08 Breach In My Sanity * 09 Demon Tears * 10 1000 Souls * 11 Someone Else * 12 Will We Remain



Last year we raved about the Swedish outfit Cloudscape. The band are back with their new release 'Crimson Skies', and I gotta say, second time round the band are bigger and better than before. On their debut we mentioned comparisons to a few bands, including GDAZE favourites Pagans Mind. And so it proves again, the PM influence, albeit a less heavy-handed version thereof, is a most apt comparison indeed. The same line-up reappears, the songs have benefited from a solid production job. The production chores have been reversed this time, Pontus Lindmark doing the honours with Anders Theander the Executive Producer. The arrangements really are spectacular. A lot of time and thought has gone into the construct of these songs.. The band have gone from mere bit players to serious title contenders!

The Songs
As the songtitle suggests, 'Shapeshifter' moves across the audio spectrum like a virtual buzzy bee. The weird klaxon/horn sound precedes 'Shadowland', it permeates a darkness as we enter the virtual world described in the song. The first of the essential tunes is 'And Then The Rain', the vocals of Micael Andersson stand out here, powerful and intense. Next is the utterly sensational 'Take The Blame', reminding me of the recent stellar album 'Silence Speaks' by Swedish label-mates Platitude. Even 'The Last Breath' has you reaching for the oxygen mask, its musical presence demanding your very awareness. My fave track is the very Pagans Mind flavoured 'Psychic Imbalance', everything about this track reminds you of Norway's favourite sons.

'Hope' starts out in somber fashion, and keeps to a slower groove mainly, despite the tempo shifts. Plenty of church organ wafts through 'Breach In My Sanity', though the chorus is very melodic. On this one, Roger Lundin gets to batter the double bass drum in the style of Stian Kristoffersen. Some nice subtle keys surround the prog metal grind of 'Demons Tears', and it continues on into '1000 Souls', the lower register rhythm guitar giving the song a bit of underbelly. The tinker-toy keyboard intro give 'Someone Else' a neat start, the track high on atmospherics and heaviness, with yet another melodic chorus. The album ends with another essential track 'Will We Remain', with guest vocals provided by Alyson Avenue's Anette Blyckert. A storming way to finish up.

In Summary
What can I say. One of the highlights in the prog metal scene this year - for me at least. Spend some time with it, and let Cloudscape's musical interpretation wash over you. Everything you wanted to hear on a modern prog metal album is contained within these twelve tracks. It doesn't matter if you like bands like Vanden Plas, Evergrey, Pagans Mind or Symphony X. Chances are: you'll love what you hear on 'Crimson Skies'. Let's put it this way, if a die-hard AORster like me can rave about a prog-metal album like this, then you can betcha bottom dollar that many others with a melodic backbone will enjoy it too.

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#1 | rkbluez on April 17 2010 20:45:31
Great CD...Great Band!
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